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Live Reporting

Edited by Claire Heald

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from us today

    Here's a summary of the day's top stories.

    • There are signs the UK is in the early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infections, a scientist advising the government has said. Prof Ravi Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, said although new cases were "relatively low", the Indian variant had fuelled "exponential growth"
    • The UK economy's recovery from the pandemic is set to be stronger than previously thought, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has said. It forecasts the UK economy is likely to grow 7.2% in 2021, up from its March projection of 5.1%
    • The OECD also raised its forecast for global growth to 5.8%, compared with the 4.2% it predicted in December
    • Around a million households fear losing their homes as England's coronavirus eviction ban comes to an end on Monday, a charity has warned
    • Vietnam has suspended incoming flights to its capital Hanoi from Tuesday and is mass testing risk groups in Ho Chi Minh City amid a new outbreak
    • France has banned all non-essential travel from the UK from Monday, to try to stop the spread of the variant first identified in India.

    Thanks for joining our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Updates were brought to you by Ashitha Nagesh, Ella Wills, Hamish Mackay, Paul Gribben, Victoria Bisset, and Claire Heald.

    Do join us again tomorrow.

  2. What's the latest in France and Italy?

    People in Paris as lockdown is eased

    Italy reported 82 Covid-related deaths today, an almost 100% increase from 44 deaths reported on Sunday. However the number of new infections fell to 1,820, down from 2,949 yesterday, the health ministry said.

    Meanwhile in France, where lockdown measures are easing and the vaccination campaign is speeding up, the number of people in intensive care units with Covid is continuing to fall. There are now 2,945 people in ICUs. At one point in mid-April there were more than 6,000 people in their care.

    However, France's health ministry has also reported 126 new Covid deaths in hospitals today - an increase from the last three days, including over the weekend, where the hospital Covid death toll was below 100.

  3. Hungary to produce Chinese Sinopharm vaccine

    Sinopharm vaccine

    Hungary's planned vaccine factory, which was first announced in December, will produce China's Sinopharm vaccine.

    Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto made the announcement today, after talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

    Hungary is the only EU country to vaccinate people with Sinopharm, and also with Russia's Sputnik V. Neither vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the EU.

    About 55 billion forints ($193m; £136m) has been earmarked for the plant's construction, which the government says will make Hungary self-sufficient in vaccine production from the end of 2022.

    The government also says the country has vaccinated more than half of its population, and more than a third have received two doses.

  4. Covid caused India's worst recession since independence

    Delhi in April 2021

    India experienced its worst recession since independence in 1947 as a result of the pandemic.

    The country's economy contracted 7.3% in 2020-21, according to official data released today - and although it saw slight growth of 1.6% between January and March this year, there are fears a debilitating second wave of the virus has made the economic situation worse.

    About 230 million people in India fell into poverty because of the pandemic last year, according to a study by Azim Premji University in Bangalore. It defines poverty as living on less than 375 rupees ($5; £3.50) a day.

    Many were already struggling when the second wave of the virus hit earlier this year. In April alone Covid led to 7.3 million people losing their jobs, according to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy.

    More than 160,000 people have died in the past eight weeks, and hospitals across the country have become overwhelmed with Covid patients.

  5. 'Ministerial incompetence' biggest threat to lockdown easing - Labour

    Labour's Jonathan Ashworth
    Image caption: Labour's Jonathan Ashworth

    We reported earlier that a scientist advising the government has warned England's planned easing of lockdown on 21 June might need to be delayed.

    Now, Labour has said "ministerial incompetence" is the "biggest threat" to plans for exiting lockdown.

    Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth says: "The decision to continue easing restrictions on 21 June must be taken based on data to keep people safe and prevent overwhelming the NHS.

    "The single biggest threat to that is ministerial incompetence.

    "Today ministers remain engulfed and distracted by internal rows and blame-shifting at just the moment we need a laser-like focus on this [Indian] variant."

    A final decision on whether restrictions will be lifted in England will be reached on 14 June.

    Earlier, Environment Secretary George Eustice told the BBC the government had to take things "one step at a time".

    "We have to make that judgment a couple of weeks before," he said. "It will only be by then that we will see the impact of the latest easement we made on 17 May."

  6. What's the latest from China?

    Kerry Allen

    BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst


    Southern Guangdong has become the latest Covid-19 hotspot in China.

    In the last 24 hours, 20 new cases have been confirmed in the province; 64 people are currently being treated in hospital.

    Cases span four populous cities: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Maoming.

    As a result, parts of the province have gone into lockdown.

    In Guangzhou, flights have largely been cancelled in and out of the city’s international airport, and travellers on all forms of transport must show a negative Covid test within 72 hours if they wish to leave the area.

    China’s official broadcaster, CCTV, is today calling on social media users to “cheer Guangdong on”.

    It tells locals to “make a vaccination appointment ASAP, wear a mask when you travel, and fight the epidemic”.

    China is the world leader in terms of the number of vaccine doses administered; there have now been more than 639.17 million vaccine doses administered nationally.

    However, China has a population of 1.4 billion; strict lockdowns are common as soon as a single symptomatic Covid-19 case is identified to prevent cases from quickly spreading.

  7. WHO needs to be stronger, say member states

    WHO logo at entrance to headquarters in Geneva

    The WHO is facing calls for significant reform after members jointly agreed it needed to be stronger and more independent if future pandemics are to be avoided.

    At the annual World Health Assembly, the UN agency's 194 member states agreed, in a 14-page resolution, to "strengthen WHO's capacity to rapidly and appropriately assess disease outbreaks". They also called for a total overhaul of the global alarm system.

    Countries and institutions were woefully unprepared for the pandemic when it hit last year, according to three independent panels that reported to the assembly.

    One of the reports also found that the WHO had been too slow in declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It raised this alarm on 30 January 2020.

    Members are now creating working groups in order to put together concrete proposals, which they will present at next year's assembly.

  8. BreakingMore than 600,000 vaccine doses given in past 24 hours

    More than 600,000 Covid vaccine doses have been administered across the UK during the past 24 hours, official data shows.

    Of those, 183,526 were first doses and 418,848 were second doses.

    Across the UK, 39,259,168 people have now received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, while 25,332,851 people are now fully vaccinated.

  9. BreakingOne Covid death reported in UK today

    The UK has today reported one further death within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

    The single death, which was in Scotland, takes the UK total by that measure to 127,782 since the start of the pandemic.

    There have also been another 3,383 positive Covid cases reported over the past 24 hours

  10. BreakingAnyone over 18 can receive vaccine in Twickenham today

    We reported earlier that Twickenham rugby stadium has been turned into a vaccination walk-in centre. It's part of an effort to suppress the spread of cases of the Covid variant first identified in India in nearby Hounslow

    The NHS has now confirmed that, for the rest of the day, anyone aged over 18 can turn up to to the stadium and receive a vaccine.

    The rollout is happening at the ground until 20:00 BST this evening.

  11. Foreign holidays are back - but what are the new rules?

    People at an airport

    For people living in the UK, foreign holidays are back, but organising a trip isn't straightforward.

    England's traffic light list classes destinations as green, amber or red. Similar rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    There's no quarantine when you return from a green country. However, you must pay for Covid tests before and after you travel and complete a passenger locator form.

    If you're thinking of booking a holiday abroad and are confused about the rules, you can read this BBC guide to the current situation.

  12. What’s the latest from Taiwan?

    Kerry Allen

    BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst

    People walk past closed business establishment due to the worsening case of Covid-19 in Taipei, Taiwan, 31 May 2021

    Cases remain high in Taiwan even though the island has been in near lockdown since 20 May.

    In the last 24 hours, Taiwan has confirmed 278 new cases, and 15 new deaths. This is striking, given that on 20 May, Taiwan’s total death toll was 15.

    There have now been 124 total deaths, with the youngest being 36-years-old.

    A level 3 Covid-19 alert is in place across the island until 14 June.

    There are four Covid-19 alert responses. Level 3 means all but essential businesses are closed, and mask-wearing is mandatory. A level 4 response would be a full lockdown.

    Over the weekend, one of Taiwan’s hardest hit areas, Taipei, conducted a simulation for a level 4 lockdown to help people prepare for potential further restrictions.

    However, the Taipei Times says “there is evidence that the situation has stabilised over the past three days”.

    Taiwan News says the R number has dropped to 1.02. However, this latest outbreak meant that the R hit a peak of 15 in mid-May.

    In the early stages of the pandemic, Taiwan was seen as something of a success story; swift lockdowns and strict quarantines meant there were fewer than 800 cases by the end of 2020.

    Taiwan has a population of 23.8 million.

  13. Remote island nation of Palau reports first Covid case


    Palau, a remote island nation in the Pacific, has reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus.

    The island has a population of just 21,000, and has so far managed to avoid the virus by closing its borders early in the pandemic - despite its economy, which relies on tourism, taking a big hit.

    The health ministry says a traveller who arrived in Palau earlier this month was found to have the virus, even though they tested negative several times - once before going to the island, and twice more during a two-week quarantine.

    "Further tests revealed that this is a historical - past infection - case of Covid-19 and it is not infectious," the ministry said in a statement today, adding that they believe the person had the virus in January this year.

    They refused to release any details about the person or where they're from, but said that they've been placed in isolation as a precaution.

  14. Malaysia announces $9.7bn stimulus as cases surge

    People queuing to receive the vaccine in Kuala Lumpur

    Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a new 40 billion ringgit ($9.7bn; £6.8bn) stimulus package.

    Cases of Covid are rising sharply in Malaysia, and the country is entering a "total lockdown" tomorrow - though some factories are being allowed to keep operating at a reduced capacity.

    More than 1,200 deaths were reported this month, compared to 471 in the whole of last year. On Saturday, the country reported 9,020 new cases - its highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic.

    The number of daily new Covid cases in Malaysia has also soared past India's on a per capita basis.

  15. Family's 10-day hotel quarantine was 'worst ever experience'

    Etienne and Abby Pansegrauw

    A father says his family's stay in a quarantine hotel was their "worst-ever experience" after his wife and baby son were left needing hospital treatment.

    Abby Pansegrauw, 34, and her son, one, fell ill as a result of food they ate while at the hotel, doctors believe.

    Her husband, Etienne, describes staying at the Novotel London Heathrow Airport in April as like being in a prison.

    The hotel says it is "unlikely" it caused the food poisoning and it is "disappointed" to hear their views.

    The family of five, which splits its time between London and Swindon, Wiltshire, paid £2,400 for their 10-day stay at the hotel after paying £2,000 for their flights back to the UK from South Africa's Eastern Cape.

    You can read more about their experience here.

  16. Delay to 21 June rule easing would be 'devastating' for hospitality - industry body


    As we've been reporting throughout the day, the government is facing calls to delay the end of social distancing measures, currently scheduled to take place in England on 21 June.

    But Kate Nicholls, chief executive of industry body UK Hospitality, has told the BBC that any delay would be "devastating" for the sector and has called on the government to extend financial support for businesses if they cannot fully reopen on 21 June.

    "It would be devastating for many of our members and catastrophic for those not able to open at all (such as) nightclubs and music venues and for those with restricted opening, so wedding venues and indoor leisure," she says.

    These businesses in particular are "hemorrhaging cash" and a delay would "push them closer to the cliff edge of business failure", she adds.

    Some government business support schemes, including grants and business rate relief, are due to be cut back in July.

    "If there is any delay it's imperative to extend the business support schemes to protect the millions in the sector that are at risk," Nicholls says.

    She adds that many hospitality venues are currently operating at 60% capacity due to social distancing rules which means most businesses are not turning a profit.

  17. People soak up Bank Holiday sunshine

    Lots of people are out and about to soak up sunny weather this Bank Holiday Monday.

    Here's a selection of photographs.

    People enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach, Dorset
    Image caption: People enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach, Dorset
    People zip line across the sea from Bournemouth pier
    Image caption: Some people chose an alternative route across the sea at Bournemouth Pier
    Stuart Henderson (right) sits outside his beach hut on Bournemouth beach, Dorset
    Image caption: After the recent wet weather, beach hut owners headed to their own sun spots
    People enjoy the sunshine at Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire
    Image caption: There were crowds at Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire
    People enjoy the hot weather at the canal in Paddington Basin, north London
    Image caption: Some headed to Paddington Basin in north London to catch a few rays
  18. Polish children return to school after seven months

    School in south-eastern Poland

    The majority of children in Poland have returned to school today for the first time since October.

    Classes are back on for primary school children in years four to eight, as well as for all secondary school year groups. Younger primary school children in years one to three went back to school on 4 May.

    As well as reopening schools, Poland has eased other Covid restrictions throughout May - including around shopping centres, hotels and restaurants.

    New Covid infections in Poland have fallen since hitting an all-time high of more than 35,000 on 1 April. Today, 333 new cases were reported.

  19. Welsh holiday cottages to earn year's takings over summer

    Under the Thatch
    Image caption: Many holiday accommodation providers have no available dates for the summer

    Holiday let firms in Wales are predicting a bumper summer, with one saying they have been "blown away" by demand.

    Greg Stevenson of Under the Thatch says some of its 60 properties will take a normal year's earnings in a few months.

    North Wales Holiday Cottages also has many properties booked until October.

    Meanwhile, lack of availability in other hotspots will mean more bookings in Powys and Ceredigion, says Mid Wales Tourism's chairman.

    Following the end of the first lockdown in 2020, self-catering occupancy rates in Wales reached 90% in August - with industry bosses confident that figure could be topped this year.

    Read more on this story.

  20. More than 1,600 people in Scotland die after catching Covid in hospital

    More than 1,600 patients have died after being infected with Covid in Scotland's hospitals, NHS data shows.

    And almost a third (30.8%) of all patients who definitely or probably caught coronavirus while in hospital for other reasons died within a month.

    NHS Scotland figures show 1,137 patients who were definitely infected while on a ward died in the subsequent 28 days, in addition to 524 deaths linked to "probable" cases of hospital-acquired coronavirus.

    Of all the patients who were diagnosed with Covid after being admitted to hospital - regardless of where the person was infected - 4,089 (26.9%) died within 28 days.

    The mortality data, published by Public Health Scotland, covers the period from 7 March 2020 to 31 March 2021.

    During that time, there were at least 3,725 definite cases of hospital infection where a patient tests positive 15 days or more after being admitted, and 1,671 probable cases where a positive test is recorded between eight and 14 days after admission.